China intrudes into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone for the third time this year

New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Sep 16, 2019, 08:28 PM IST

China had earlier commissioned a Soviet-built aircraft carrier in 2012. (Representative Image) Photograph:(DNA)

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Hanoi is mulling a number of actions including exercising legal option against China with the source saying, 'can't rule out anything'.

China has again intruded in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone(EEZ), the third major intrusion this year. The intrusion, according to Vietnam government sources began on September 7 and is underway with Chinese ships along with coast guards still present. 

The previous two intrusions had taken place on July 3 and August 13.  On July 3, Chinese ship Hauyang Dihi Bahao escorted by Chinese coast guard entered in Hanoi's EEZ but left on August 7, it was followed by the second incursion that started on August 13 and ended on September 2.

Hanoi is mulling a number of actions including excercising legal option against China with the source saying, "can't rule out anything".

The first and second intrusion saw Chinese boats being placed near ONGC Videsh Ltd's block. The July 3 intrusion was closest to the ONGC block while the current case that began on September 7 saw Chinese ships near Vietnam's mainland.

Vietnam has raised these intrusions with China through the various diplomatic channel almost forty times. Ten countries have so far reacted to Chinese intrusion in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone which include India, US, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Malaysia, EU and ASEAN.

The ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: "South China Sea is part of the global commons.  India, therefore, has an abiding interest in the peace and stability in the region."

Reiterating that India stands for "freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the international waters in accordance with international laws, notably UNCLOS", the foreign affairs spokesman added that "differences must be resolved peacefully by respecting the legal and diplomatic processes, and without resorting to threat or use of force."

This year has seen the the third major escalation by the Chinese side into Vietnam's EEZ. Earlier in 2011 and 2014, Bejing had intruded into Vietnam's EEZ . In 2011, China had cut Vietnamese cables and in 2014 Beijing had placed a drilling platform which was later withdrawn.